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A former U.S. Army company communications chief in Vietnam, Dr. David Hilse homed to land a teaching job at a four-year college or university and teach electricity and electronics after earning his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Central. He not only accomplished his goal, but succeeded it by becoming a department chair.
Hilse, who officially retires Aug. 31, as professor emeritus of electronics technology, joined the faculty in 1978 as an assistant professor of electricity and electronics. He was promoted to associate professor in 1983, and became chair of the Department of Electricity and Electronics in 1990. He served at that post until 1998, when the department was merged into the Department of Power and Transportation. Part of Hilse’s climb up the academic ladder can be attributed to his educational background, which also included a doctorate in technical education from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
In the classroom, Hilse taught courses such as Applied Electricity, AC Circuit Analysis, and Active Electronic Devices.
His university involvement beyond teaching included committee work dealing with topics such as academic standards, the Industrial Education Roundup, the annual Vocational Industrial Clubs of America (now SkillsUSA) contests, and Industrial Arts Contest.